UW Press
 

 

 

FaceBook

FaceBook Twitter Tumblr GoodReads UW Press Newsletter

UW Press Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

UW Madison

American Association of University Presses

 

 



 

The Phantom of Thomas Hardy
Floyd Skloot

 

A literary romp through Dorsetshire and Hardy’s tangled love life

On a street in Dorchester, England, there is a gateway between real and imagined lives. A plaque identifies a Barclays Bank building as “lived in by the Mayor of Casterbridge in Thomas Hardy’s story of that name written in 1885.”

In this imaginative novel, worlds continue to collide as Floyd, an American writer recovering from a devastating neuro-viral attack, and his wife, Beverly, immerse themselves in Hardy’s world. While pondering the enigma of a fictional character living in a factual building, Floyd is approached by Hardy himself—despite his death in 1928.

This phantom—possibly conjured out of Floyd’s damaged brain—tasks the Americans with finding out what Hardy missed in love. Embarking on their quest, they visit Hardy’s birthplace, home, and grave, exploring the Dorset landscape and the famous novels with their themes of tormented love. Peering into the Victorian past, they slowly dismantle the clutter of screens that Hardy placed around his private life, even as their own love story unfolds, filled with healing and hope.

 

Floyd Skloot Floyd Skloot is an award-winning writer of fiction, essays, poetry, and creative nonfiction. His twenty books include Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir and The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer’s Life. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

 


 

Praise

“Only the inventive Floyd Skloot could come up with—and gorgeously pull off—an experiment like The Phantom of Thomas Hardy. With the intensity of a fevered dream, he seeks his own self-integration after brain trauma while digging around, assembling, and imagining the history of the elusive Hardy. Blending memoir, reportage, literary analysis, and historical fiction (who does that?) Skloot dazzles with the depth of his research, and enchants with his signature vivid, precise, and thoroughly delicious prose.”
—Jeanne Marie Laskas, author of Concussion

“A rare book—entertaining and erudite, emotionally resonant, and enviably learned. Skloot writes with a deep compassion and curiosity about the private and public personas of Thomas Hardy in what is both a work of fiction and an unconventional, original memoir.”
—Christine Sneed, author of Paris, He Said

“This strikingly original book crosses the boundaries of genre in daring ways, as we observe a fictional self in pursuit of a phantom, another self, the soul of a great author. This is a work of memoir, fantasy, literary biography, spiritual questing—and more. As ever, Skloot draws on deep reserves of intellectual and emotional energy. A remarkable achievement.”
—Jay Parini, author of The Last Station

 

Additional Resources

Visit Floyd Skloot’s website at www.floydskloot.com

 

Publicity and Press Kit Resources

Click here for current & upcoming UW Press events

Download high resolution cover, color

Download high resolution cover, b/w

Download high resolution author photo, color

Download high resolution author photo, b/w

All images are at least 2.25 inches at 300 dpi wide; current title covers are a minimum of 1500 px wide/6 inches wide at 300 dpi. Please contact us if you need a custom size.

 

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

 


Of Related Interest


Revertigo

Revertigo
An Off-Kilter Memoir
Floyd Skloot

How to Disappear

How to Disappear
A Memoir for Misfits
Duncan Fallowell

The Phantom of Thomas Hardy
Larger images

October 2016
LC: 2016013570 PS
184 pp. 5½ x 8¼

Book icon
Casebound $24.95
ISBN 978-0-299-31040-0
Shopping cart

ADD TO CART
Review Cart